Vet Care for Dogs, Cats and Many Other Animals

Dos And Don'ts Of Caring For Your Dog's Teeth

by Calvin Newman

As a responsible pet owner, you take the time to research the best food for your dog's breed, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, and give your dog all the love and attention they need. However, there is another aspect of caring for your dog you may be overlooking: your dog's dental care. Just like you, your dog requires regular dental care to ensure your dog's teeth remain healthy and strong. When it comes to your dog's dental health, here are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind.

Do Introduce the Toothbrush the Right Way

Talk to your veterinarian about the right age to introduce a toothbrush or another toothbrushing method to your dog. Your veterinarian might recommend brushing your older dog's teeth right away and if you have a puppy, your veterinarian might recommend waiting until a specific age, such as six months.

Introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste slowly, no matter what your dog's age or temperament. For example, begin by feeling your dog's gums and teeth with your fingers to get your dog accustomed to having something in their mouth. You can then allow them to taste the toothpaste to help them get used to the taste.

Slowly begin brushing your dog's teeth only after your dog is comfortable with the taste of the toothpaste and having a foreign object in their mouth. If your dog is resisting having their teeth brushed after introducing the brush and paste slowly, talk to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will have tips to help you get your dog adjusted to having their teeth brushed.

Don't Buy the Wrong Products

Always purchase products that are designed for use on dogs. There are a variety of doggie toothbrushes and toothpastes that are designed to be comfortable for your dog's mouth, make the processing of brushing your dog's teeth easier and have a taste your dog will prefer. Never use any products designed for humans, as there are ingredients in human toothpaste that are dangerous for dogs.

Do Know the Signs of a Problem with Your Dog's Oral Health

Finally, don't wait for any noticeable signs of distress or pain from your dog, such as panting and a reluctance to eat, before taking your dog to the veterinarian. Instead, examine your dog's mouth regularly and look for signs of dental decay, including bleeding or red gums, heavy tartar buildup, and bad breath.

Caring for your dog's teeth correctly, including using the right products and understanding the signs of tooth decay, will help ensure your dog's teeth remain healthy and strong. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact a veterinarian.